London Borough of Bromley

Report No.


(Part 2 - not for publication)




Decision Maker:

Plans Sub-Committee No. 3

Decision Date:
19 July 2007

Decision Type:




Budget/Policy Framework

Within policy and budget

Chief Officer:

Chief Planner

Contact Officer:

Chris Evans
Tel: 020 8313 4554: chris.evans@bromley.gov.uk


Crystal Palace




Complaints have been received about the use of part of the Jubilee Stand for educational purposes by Capel Manor College, with use of part of the Park for horticulture by students, and that trees have been felled at the children's farm without prior notification to the Council.




The use of part of the Jubilee Stand by the College and of the 25m x 8m area of the Park for horticultural purposes by students does not involve a material change of use, and no further action should be taken.


No action be taken regarding the felling of the apple trees, the College's offer to plant replacement trees be accepted, and it be invited to submit proposals for replacement planting.




A complaint has been received about Capel Manor College using buildings and land at Crystal Palace Park for educational purposes as follows:

  • teaching accommodation in 4 rooms in the Jubilee Stand
  • "allotment-style" agricultural plot in the Park used by students
  • staff residential accommodation in a house in the National Sports Centre grounds.

The College's "Crystal Palace Centre" has been operating since September 2006 without planning permission, the complainant states, and a request is made that enforcement action be taken.


A complaint has also been made about 6 apple trees felled at the Children's farm, without the necessary prior notification to the Local Planning Authority which is necessary in a Conservation Area. The College have stated that it proposes to plant replacement trees.


The complaint refers to the special designations protecting the Park, eg Metropolitan Open Land (MOL), Conservation Area, Registered Historic Park, and the concern is that -

  • educational institutions are not an "appropriate" use in MOL
  • a new FE college institution will add to development pressure in the Park
  • the Jubilee Stand is proposed for demolition by the London Development Agency (LDA), and there will be pressure to provide replacement accommodation for the College in the Park, which would be contrary to planning policies including for the Major Developed Site (Policy G3) in that such development would not constitute indoor or outdoor sporting uses.

Reference is made to applications by the College for the children's farm in the Park -

  • 06/02534 - classroom building and change of use to educational use - refused as inappropriate development in MOL, in September 2006
  • 07/00665 - greenhouse, elevational alterations, boundary enclosures (to enable opening of children's farm) - permitted April 2007


The College use 4 rooms on the first floor of the Jubilee Stand for teaching, with an office base. Generally 14-20 students are taught at any one time, and 50% approx. of the teaching is practical (not in a classroom) - out in the Park (or other parks/sites). The plot used by students is approx. 25m x 8m. The College is negotiating to lease a house at the Park, but occupation by its staff would not require planning permission.


The Jubilee Stand was permitted in 1973 (ref. 73/2578) as an "extension of the existing stadium". The plans showed seating, stairs and toilets, but no useable floorspace.


In 1982 Building Regulations consent was granted for "mezzanine floor/completion of part of existing shell as office accommodation". There is no record of a planning application for this work. The floor plans showed various uses - offices, store, contractors storage, toilets, workshops (fitting and machine shop, electrical workshop (with store), carpentry shop, engineers mess room, etc).


In November 1986 permission was granted for "two storey building for use as injury clinic" (ref. 86/2808). The plans showed infilling of additional volume of the rear part of the Jubilee Stand, with the injury clinic on part of the ground floor where it is today. Other uses existing at that time included general storage, plant and offices.


The stadium could be recognised as the site of activities mainly within Class D2 (Assembly and Leisure) that constitute a separate use physically and functionally within the Park. The land and buildings comprising the stadium could therefore be seen as the "planning unit", being used for "outdoor sports or recreation" (this wording as set out in Class D2).


The Jubilee Stand is part of this planning unit. The uses going on within it (in addition to seating for the Class D2 use) are as follows:

  • offices, some appearing to be ancillary to operation of the stadium and National Sports Centre, others being offices of sporting bodies (not ancillary to the stadium) ie, the former Class D2, the latter Class B1
  • the sports injury clinic permitted in 1986 (Class D1)
  • gym (Class D2)


The College's use for teaching with ancillary office is carried on in 2 parts of the first floor. It is a use that falls within Class D1 (Non-residential Institutions). At the time of inspection by an officer it was not in use, with only 1 member of staff present. The floorspace comprises 14% of the floorspace in Jubilee Stand, and is reached by the same stairs and shares corridors and services like toilets with other users in the building. Use is in term-time and it is stated that at other times the rooms can be used for other community or training uses, though the mechanism for this is not clear (if the rooms are under control of/leased to the college). It is stated that only 1 of the 4 rooms would be used all year, the others would only be used in term-time - 30 weeks a year. The teaching areas have been used for training etc in the past, it is stated, but whether this was ancillary to use of the stadium (or a separate educational use) is not known.


No educational or other Class D1 use has been permitted at the stadium other than the sports injury clinic (the permission for which is confined to a particular part of the Jubilee Stand). As such the view could be taken that planning permission is required for the College's use, alternatively the view could be taken that as a matter of fact and degree a material change of use of the stadium as a whole has not occurred. It would be possible to take this view on the basis that:

  • The proportion of the floorspace in relation to the planning unit (ie, the whole stadium) is "de minimus"
  • The educational use only takes place in term-time
  • The students spend much of their time on practical work (in the Park with contractors and Park Rangers, and at other parks and sites) rather than being taught / in lectures
  • Average class size is 14, maximum 20, therefore use not particularly intensive

Clearly if the situation changed (floorspace and/or length of time of lectures/tuition), the need for permission would have to be looked at again


Prior to receipt of the complaint, there was correspondence between the College and officers about the need for permission for the use of the rooms in the Jubilee Stand and the horticulture area. A preliminary assessment was that the existing use of the Stand is for office purposes by sports associations, with ancillary training centres and sports injury clinic. The informal view was taken at the time that the use of 14% of the floorspace by a separate and unrelated educational use would constitute a material change of use of the building - it is commonly accepted that the change of use of about 5% of floorspace of a building may not constitute a material change of use, but a change of 14% would be unlikely to be incidental to the main use or "de minimis". In view of the functional link with the area used for horticulture, the latter would also require planning permission, it was considered. The College were invited to consider 3 possible courses of action -

Submission of a planning application in an attempt to regularise the situation

Submit an application for a Certificate of Lawfulness for an Existing Use or Development

Submit further information about the history of the site/building, the details of the use itself and interpretation of the relevant legislation.


The College have chosen to pursue the 3rd option, as such it has now been possible to set out the analysis in paras 3.4 - 3.11. It is apparent that the situation is not so clear cut as it appeared before, now that further research about the planning history of the Jubilee Stand has been carried out and the College has clarified the uses going on. It is considered that it is right and appropriate to assess the educational use in the context of the stadium as a whole being the planning unit, not just the Jubilee Stand - in which case the educational use is not considered to materially change the use of the stadium. If this is accepted, and in view of the very small area of land involved in relation to the size of the Park, the use of the horticultural land is not a material change of use of the Park as a whole.




The following policies will be relevant if the view is taken that the uses require planning permission:

  • BE10 Local Listed Buildings
  • BE11 Conservation Areas
  • BE15 Historic Parks and Gardens
  • C1 Community Facilities
  • G2 Metropolitan Open Land
  • G3 National Sports Centre Major Developed Sites


Policy BE14 concerns development in Conservation Areas that affects trees.

Non-Applicable Sections

Financial, Legal and Personnel Implications

Background Documents:
(Access via Contact Officer)

Enforcement files contain exempt information and are therefore not available for public inspection.

Ref: HDC/CE/EN/07/00289/CHANGE

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17/7/07 Last Updated 17/7/07